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Scripture: Hooray for Tough Times!

When you read the title of this post, you may have thought that I have lost my mind. No, well, maybe – but that’s a whole different topic. 😉 Seriously, though, this topic comes up quite often in scripture. I have encountered three specific passages just this week that tell me not to just keep my chin up and get through the difficulties of life, but to rejoice and be thankful for them.

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Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.   Romans 5:3-4

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:7-11

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.   James 1:2-3

This is certainly not an exhaustive collection of the verses that address this topic, but these are the specific passages that the Lord has placed in front of me recently. I don’t believe in coincidence, so it must be that He is telling me something and it’s pretty clear: tough times are no excuse to stop having joy in the Lord.

Do you have any current problems? concerns? troubles? Are you losing sleep over them? thinking constantly about what you can do to make them go away? worrying that you’ve done something horribly wrong to cause them? Well, chin up! You may have earned those struggles. They may actually be a reward, a gift that the Father has given to you because you are His and He love you. Think about it from the parental perspective with me for a bit.

As a mom, I want my children to be the very best they can be. I know that if I let them, they will just waste their time and energy and gifts by just hanging around, loafing – you know, doing what we all do best = Nothing. Because I love them, I give them chores (which they do not like), especially chores they aren’t really good at (which they really don’t like), and insist that they do things they don’t want to do because I know they need to experience them. I don’t push other people’s kids to do those things. (Well, to be honest, I do have a few close friends whose kids I love nearly as much as I love my own, so I do go a little too far with them sometimes.) The reason I am harder on my kids is because I love them so much that I want them to grow beyond what they currently are and become even more.

Spiritually, I am like those kids. My Heavenly Father uses the junk of life to make me more like Him. His righteousness is not easily obtained because I am naturally wicked. Even as a believer, my default position is standing still, remaining at rest, the status quo. He wants me to reflect His glory to the dark world around me and develop constantly into the person He knows I can become. He chose me to be His child and He loves me as His own. That is why He BLESSES me with opportunities to experience things that are difficult.

I have to be frank here. When a bill comes that I can’t pay or a loved one gets bad news, I don’t break out the pom-poms and do a happy dance. However, I do trust that the Sovereign God Who created all that is knows far better than I do what I need to experience so that I may become what He needs me to be for the next step in this journey. I can rest in His peace because everything that comes into my life has already passed through the filter of His hand. Hooray for tough times!

Comments are always welcome. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Scripture: Hooray for Tough Times!

  1. This is a hard one. I realized today that after all I’ve been through this year, my mom’s health, my son’s car accident, my health problems, losing my job and starting a new one, being lied to and betrayed by people that I loved… that I actually am yearning for God now, something that has always been absent from my walk.

  2. tty says:

    Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” I pray that we will all feel the need for Him even more strongly than we crave physical nourishment.

  3. Tutus Portus says:

    Hey there……

    I miss you and your honesty! You are a rare Christian who walks the walk……too many are nominal Christians at best, many have been deceived. Thank you for caring and showing love ( love is a verb ie: ACTION word ) as so many talk and talk and talk…..

    From one southern girl to another…hugs

    God bless you and your family.

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